Sunday, January 29, 2012

Church Chat

Today Callie was sitting on my lap in church. She was pretty up close in my face as her hands softly rubbed my cheeks. Then, she looked in my eyes, and got a rather concerned look:

Callie: Mommy, why do you have cracks in your eyes?

Can you imagine if I literally had cracks in my eyes?! The image came to eyeballs actually cracking. Not the most reverent thought, but ya know.

Me: Cracks? Do you see lines in my eyes?
Callie: Yes, you have cracks in your eyes. Why?
Me: I'm tired Callie. I think that's why you see those lines. Are they red?
Callie: Yes, red cracks. But I'm not tired.
Me: And that's why you don't have the red lines in your eyes.
Callie: (yawns) I am tired Mommy. Oh, I'm going to have red cracks.

These are the types of conversations I have with my daughter during church. Jesus? Charity? Scriptures? Prophets? Nope. Just good 'ole talks about cracked eyes.

I need more sleep.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Grateful Heart

It never fails...when I'm in the need for a serious perspective check, I get it.  And nearly 100% of the time it's from my friends and their situations.

I was feeling mopey.  We all do occassionally, right?  I was stressed, frustrated, and...mopey.  Then I read my friends' blogs, or talk to them, and am reminded that I have a pretty amazing life and, who cares what happens next?  Not a "who cares" in an apathetic way, but a "who-cares-when-life-is-so-good" kind of way.  hm.  Does that make sense?

I have a friend whose daughter is just starting to have seizures and I'm so grateful that (cross our fingers and keep praying) that our crazy seizure days are over.  Yes, those were the hardest months/years, but we have passed that part and I'm optimistic that we have passed them for good.  Sammy's seizures keep getting better -- less often and less intense.  What a relief.  And here my friend is just entering that painful world.  Perspective.  Check.

Another friend of mine is so dear to me.  We have met only 1 time, but her son's story, and the entire family's story, has changed me.  Caleb was born with very little brain, one eye, and was told he would not live a day.  He just turned 7 years old.  Seven!  It hasn't been an easy 7 years, but they do it...and with a smile.  He is an incredible little boy and his mission here on this earth, I think, is to change hearts (among other things).  And as amazing as he is, I cry everytime I think of him passing away.  April and I went out to dinner with some friends when I was in Utah, and she mentioned how there were some things she wanted for their family before he died.  Perspective.  Check.

Another woman...I read her blog and we've emailed a couple times.  I found their blog close to the time that her son died.  It's been over a year now, and she has been so honest at how painful it's been. 

My friend just has major surgery for a cancer tumor they found that was quite massive.

I visit a woman whose husband was diagnosed with cancer and only weeks later was gone.

I have friends who are divorcing, friends who are unemployed, friends who are struggling with depression, miscarriages, and life in general. 
And when I'm reminded of all that everyone else deals with, I find myself extremely grateful.  Because no matter what it is that I want, today, I have an incredible husband.  He has a job.  We have a roof over our heads.  Samantha is healthy and seems to be progressing.  Callie is an angel.  We are surrounded by so much love and support and ... greatness.  Could things be better?  Yes.  But despite that, are things pretty great now?  Definitely.

It's all how you look at it.  The crazy thing is, all my friends who have these hard things going on in their lives, I think they'd be writing the same things.  They each have this perspective on life that I admire and helps me stay in line.  They are strong women full of faith. 

And tonight, I am grateful.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

oooooo I have such a hard time with this. I cringe to even admit I read this. Call me niave and sheltered...or whatever else you want to call me...but there were parts I just had to skip over. The sexual nature of the book was a bit much for me, especially the violence. But the story was so compelling. I wanted to know how it all ended. I gave it 3 stars only because I felt like I couldn't honestly give it 4 when I find that I'm scared to admit how much I liked it...even though I couldn't read parts of it! AH! Reading can be such a complicated sport.

I had no idea what the book was about when I started reading. I know, right?! It's all over the place. Everyone was talking about it; it's a movie for cryin' out loud. But, I never really knew the plot. I knew the title and that was about it. As I read, I realized, "What? They're hunting down a murderer?!" Yeah, people. It's a mystery. And it's thick and crazy, and seriously insane. I haven't read anything that made me crave the ending so much -- I just wanted to know how all the ends got tied up. I do have to say, I like Blomkvist. Salander, just weird. And I don't like, at all, when authors seem to through in some kind of sexual relationship that has no impact on the story line. And I felt like that happened. I dont' think this is a spoiler -- I think we know early on that he and his coworker have been in a relationship for years now even though she is married. I mean, why? It had nothing to do with the story. They could have just been best friends even though she was married. Whateva'. Why throw sex in there? Unnecessary. Keep it clean people. I mean, talk about your psycho murderers, but keep it clean...uhhh...maybe I just need to avoid this genre. Anyway.

Alas, I will not read the remaining 2 books in the trilogy. I actually have no desire to, which is a relief in some respects. (Again, you can call me whatever names you'd like.) And even though this was a thrilling, exciting mystery, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, only because parts were just too disturbing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Another One

Sammy's sick. Like, gross, throwing up all the time, horrible sick. I was helping someone yesterday with some college applications when I got the phone call from school.

"Jenny? Um, Sammy's sick. She had lunch and threw up all over the place."

It totally caught me off guard since at therapy yesterday morning she was a gem and all chipper. By the time I got to school, she had thrown up a few more times. Poor girl. It was a LoNg afternoon and LONGER evening. She slept with me on the bed (while Marcus slept on the couch -- thanks) and there was very little sleeping going on. She was just writhing in what I can only imagine was stomach cramping. After 1/2 of sleep, at 6:30am I went out to the couch with Sammy and handed her over to Daddy-o so I could get some zzz's before he had to leave for work. This morning she's doing better, but whiny and complainy.

And you know what I'm thinking? Seriously?

I want another one.

Baby, that is. I want another baby. I know it's difficult and I know that, especially when things aren't going perfectly -- illness (short or long term), disability, added numbers to the house causing crazy schedules and whatnot. But it's what I want. And I believe it's what Heavenly Father wants for us too. So, we're waiting on His scheduling. I need to talk to the head of scheduling though, 'cause, ya know...I'm not real fond of this timeline.

I've often wondered why it is that this adoption is taking so long. It's easy to wonder if how I'm acting is messing up Heavenly Father's trust in me. As much as I want another baby, am I not showing to Heavenly Father that He can trust me with another one of His children? Part of me says, "No, that's not it." But man, I really wonder sometimes, and it's a thought that's hard for me to shake -- because it's such a painful thought. It wasn't until recently that I started praying that I'd learn whatever it is that I needed to learn during this "waiting/finding" time. I think, am I not humble enough? Am I not handling what I have already well enough? I know I'm not perfect, but who is? But, this morning as I held Sammy all wrapped up in her blanket, and Callie cuddled next to me on the couch, not only did I feel such love for my little girls, but I felt this...I want another one. I'm ready. Whenever it happens, I'm ready feeling. And if I'm saying this after a sleepless night and vomit/laundry galore, I got to mean it, right? That's what I thought!

So, here's to Friday: vomit, cuddling, pajamas all day long, and hopefully, babies (someday soon).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Callie's Birthday

As previously mentioned, Callie turned four.  I was so excited, and then...I got sick.  I slept most of her birthday.  But the night before I spent a lot of time decorating.  It was so fun!  Her favorite color is currently RED.  She has informed me that she no longer likes pink.  She will wear it, but red is her color.  (Which is just great since I'm working on a quilt that has greens, pinks, and purples.  Had I known she would like red, I could have done a really cool, bold primary color quilt.  hm) Anyway, the night before we hung these up on her ceiling.  It looked a lot better than the picture shows.  She was really excited when she woke up...there are still a few remaining on the ceiling.   

Sleeping as we work.

 So, with me being sick, it wasn't until the next day, Friday, that we did the real celebrating.  Together, we made a cake.  She was thrilled to be decorating her cake.  She wanted a brown and red cake.  So, we went with chocolate and some red details.  As long as she was decorating, it didn't matter anymore.  She gets very focused when it comes to these matters.  Just look at that concentration.

 We looked up cakes on a website and she chose the "crown."  It wasn't my best cake, but she was happy with it and I can't ask for more than that.
 And of course picture taking isn't complete without an array of goofy pictures.  "Mommy, take anodder one.  Anodder one.  Anodder one.  Can I see?"  The beauty of digital.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl.

 This was actually kind of a funny moment.  I looked over, and Callie was carrying on a conversation with herself about her birthday.  When our eyes met, she just smiled and got all shy.  So funny.
Snow White.  Always a hit these days.

Uncle John and Aunt Susan.  Callie ADORES them!  We didn't do a big birthday party, but it was pretty essential to Callie that these 2 be invited!

Callie and Grammy.

As fantastic as her birthday was, I couldn't help but think of Callie's birthmom (L.).  I'm sure she was thinking of Callie.  I wondered what she was thinking.  We still pray for her and hope the best.  One day, I really do hope that Callie can meet L. if that's what Callie wants.  Her birthmom is one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and we really only met her briefly.  If I were able to talk to her, I would assure L. that Callie is thriving.  She is wonderful, happy, beautiful, so smart, curious, kind, and gentle, yet rambunctious, loud, and fun!  We love Callie with all our hearts...I cannot imagine my life without her.  I'd tell L. that we love her and thank Heavenly Father for her daily, pray for her well being, and that though Callie may not know L. personally, she knows her birthmom...she knows her own she came to our family and how much she is loved by so many people. 

Boy do I love this little girl. 

I love you forever and back.

Christmas 2011

Have you ever had a super important document-worthy day, and never took pictures?  Christmas was like that this year.  I didn't take pictures.  I didn't get pictures of the girls in their Christmas dresses.  No pictures in front of the tree.  No family picture.  WHAT?!  Christmas was fun, and I didn't think of pulling out the camera.  I will NOT make that mistake again.  We had to recreate the Christmas dresses picture.  Lame.  Oh well, here's a bit of what we did get.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Christmas Day
one can only try...

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm Not a Runner

I'm not a runner.  I admire runners.  I think they are disciplined and strong.  I have tried to emulate runners.  Two times now, I have participated in 1/2 marathons in order to see if I could discipline myself as runners do.  I completed the 1/2 marathons, and actually did alright...but it wasn't discipline that got me through it.  It was adrenaline.

I'm not a runner.  But, I signed up for another 1/2 marathon.  It was mainly out of stupidity.  Nonetheless, I'm doing it.  And this time around, it's been so so so hard for me to run.  I fear huge embarrassment.  So, come Saturday, March 3, we'll just have to see how I do. 

I'm not a runner, but I can run -- or trot.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


 Nope, not this guy...

but this space western.  Really? you ask.  Yes.  Indeed.  A space western.  Sounds totally and completely lame.  And really, you may have a solid argument, but I love it.  This beauty lasted only 1 season (I know, I'm only adding to your argument), and then the cult following demanded more.  So, they finished it off with a movie that I'm really excited to see.  I'm not kidding here!  

Firefly.  If you haven't seen it...we've got Castle as the Captain (Malcolm), Alan Tudyk as the pilot...who's actually been in a lot but most recently is playing Noah in Suburgatory, Morena Baccarin the "companion" who played Anna the head alien in V, Adam Baldwin as Jayne (yes, Jayne) who is John in Chuck, and friends, we even have a young Zac Efron.  That's right.

So, though I haven't been updating too much here, I wanted you all to know that my time hasn't been wasted.  I've been watching Firefly -- and sure I've been busy with other things as well.  But I'll get caught up soon enough.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Callie's Four

This little cutie turned 4 today.  I can't believe it.  She's such a big girl.  Other than the incessant "why" questions that can sometimes get tiresome, I love her inquisitive nature.  She is so curious and smart and fun and nearly perfect.  Every single day I thank my Heavenly Father that she is a part of our family. 

Today, I cried.  You see, the morning started so great.  I had totally decorated with balloons and was so looking forward to doing fun things today with her.  I mean, in some ways I've been more excited about her birthday than I was about Christmas!  I'm not kidding.  And then, the throwing up began.  Yes, I have the flu.  On Callie's birthday!  It started at therapy with Sammy.  And what did Callie do?  "It's ok Mommy," as she tries to comfort me.  "Are you ok?" she asks immediately after to make sure I really am ok.  She was only worried about me.  Driving home, I had to open the car door to throw up (something I've never had to do before).  And she said, "Mommy, are you ok?  Are you done throwing up?"  I felt so bad that here it was, her birthday, and she was only concerned about me. 

I cried as I told her that I was so sorry I was sick on her special day.  And that's when she realized and said, "Oh no.  Mommy.  Who's going to take me to school on my birthday?"  She has been so excited to go to school on her birthday and bring in rice krispy treats for her class.  "I will.  Callie.  I will make sure you get to school today."  And she was ok with that.  When we got home, I went right to the couch.  Every time before I threw up, she came over, rubbed my arm and gave me a little pot and said, "Here you go Mommy.  It'll be ok."  Seriously.  This girl is something special.  I tell her often how she'll be a great mommy one day...this is just one example of her mothering nature.  Callie has a heart of gold and really is going to be such a good mom.  (As a side note...and this is just cute...when I tell her she's going to be a good mommy one day, many times she comes back with, "But I'm already a mommy, to my babies."  Ah.  Makes my heart melt every single time.  The first time she was that was in the grocery store, and the check-out person squealed and said, "That is the cutest thing I've ever heard in my entire life."  I replied with, "I know!  Me too!"  AHHH Callie is so cute!) 

All day I've been completely out of commission.  Analisa took Callie to school.  Peggy took Sammy to Scribbles and Giggles.  Peggy picked Callie up from school and took her to McDonald's (something Callie's been looking forward to for months).  I've been sleeping or throwing up most all of the day.  But, because of everyone helping out, I'm pretty confident Callie had a great birthday.  The festivities will last longer this year because I refuse to not have a special day with her.  As her mommy, I want to celebrate her big day, even if it's not on her real birthday.

Callie is one special girl.  She has brought so much love and excitement in my life, from the very moment my phone rang 4 years ago telling me that back in Detroit we had a baby for us.  Only hours later did the Spirit give me a glimpse into the person she is.  Without having met her yet, I felt this sense of ... it's hard to explain.  I just knew she was meant to be in our family.  And I knew there was a tenderness to her.  It was a really cool experience for me.  And with every passing day, the Spirit's whisper to me has been confirmed.  She is one of the most caring and loving little people I know.  She's fun and can be extremely fiesty.  But she has a tender heart and really wants to make sure people are ok.  Callie notices kids who are shy and maybe even scared and then does something about it.  She goes up, takes their hand, and says "Come on.  Do you want to play with me?"  Or, "Let's go together."  She is so Christ-like.  And yes, the other day she had a tantrum that lasted 1.5 hours on and off.  She was in her room a very long time that day.  That's never happened before and I was completely shocked.  So, yeah.  She's a kid who is pushing the limits and trying to figure out her world.  But she's inherently kind, gentle, loving, and full of beauty.  I can't even begin to express how much I love this little girl and I try to tell her often how happy I am to be her mommy. 

Happy Birthday Callie.  I love you so much.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas 2011

Marcus and I were so frustrated when we realized that we didn't take very many pictures on Christmas day.  I mean, really?!  I still have to upload those pictures, but I couldn't believe that we weren't taking pictures like crazy.  In fact, I didn't take too many pictures in general, lately, and I'm the one behind the camera.  So, I learned my lesson I suppose.

Here's some stuff leading up to Christmas:

Watching Christmas movies at night.

Hanging out with the uncles.

Making a movie with little man Nate.

Christmas party at church.  Yes, Callie IS thrilled to be there.

Callie with Santa.

Sammy with Santa.

More to come of these cute little babes.

As a side note: Sammy and Callie BOTH went to Primary today for the first time.  Amazing!  They did such a great job.  Callie was so excited.  And Sammy was a champ.  Callie got a CTR ring and a pencil for her birthday.  Yes, her birthday.  Callie will be FOUR this Thursday.  I can't believe it.

Anyway, great day!  It's been one of those oozing with love, can't get enough, love being a mom kind of day. 


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